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Miriam's Well

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A terminally ill teenager is forced to choose between her religion and her life

Adam doesn’t think much of it when Miriam faints in class. She’s an oddball, a student who hardly talks, never makes eye contact, and wears clothes that seem straight out of the 19th century. She says she’s fine, and he wants to believe her. But when she passes out while they’re working on an English assignment, Adam takes Miriam to the last place she wants to go: the hospital. Miriam has bone cancer. She believes that God will heal her, but if He doesn’t, she plans to let herself die.
Miriam is a member of a devout religious sect in which women have little power and medicine is strictly forbidden. In order for Miriam to forgo treatment, Adam’s father sues the state on her behalf—even as Adam himself tries to convince her to accept the doctors’ help. As her illness rages on, Miriam will teach Adam the meaning of love and faith—and he will give her a reason to live.

“[Miriam’s Well] exposes a powerful issue—faith in God versus faith in doctors. . . . [A] lifelike and sympathetic portrait of two complex adolescents.” —Publishers Weekly
“Thought-provoking.” —School Library Journal

Lois Ruby is the author of 18 books for middle graders and teens, including Steal Away Home, Miriam’s Well, The Secret of Laurel Oaks, Rebel Spirits, Skin Deep, and The Doll Graveyard. Her fiction runs the gamut from contemporary to historical and from realistic to paranormal. An ex-librarian, Ruby now writes full-time, in addition to speaking to bookish groups, presenting at writing workshops, and touting literacy and the joys of nourishing, thought-provoking reading in schools across the country. Ruby and her husband live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.


From Publishers Weekly

Mar 01, 1993 – Miriam and Adam have little in common--indeed, they hardly know each other until a high-school English assignment pairs them up. Miriam is a fundamental Christian and Adam an areligious Jew; when Miriam is diagnosed with bone cancer, their backgrounds become an integral part of the story. Miriam's faith does not allow for modern medicine, but she is a minor and the court system forces her to enter a hospital. Adam's father, meanwhile, agrees to represent Miriam in her fight against being treated. Ruby's ( Arriving at a Place You've Never Left ) narrative device--alternating chapters told by the two protagonists--adds an engaging verisimilitude; both voices are particularly distinctive and true-to-type. In sum, the novel explores a powerful issue--faith in God versus faith in doctors--with a carefuly balanced viewpoint. The author manages to remain impartial as she paints lifelike and sympathetic portraits of two complex adolescents. Ages 12-up.
Miriam's Well
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  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 7-12
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction
  • Published: Sep 08, 2015
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween
  • Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC
  • Print Length: 232 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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